Check Out All Work That Goes Into The Macaws Taking Flight at Animal Kingdom Each Morning
Every Disney fan has their own personal weepy Disney moment. For some its the Kiss Goodnight at the Magic Kingdom, for others it’s seeing the princess makeovers at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. For me, its always been the incredible birds taking flight at the Animal Kingdom each morning!
To celebrate Earth Day, Disney is giving us a few insights into how their incredible flock of macaws are trained to greet visitors each day. As a critically endangered species, it is breathtaking to see a large group of them take to the skies in front of the Tree of Life.
As photographer Kent Phillips tells us, “Animal Encounters: Winged Encounters – The Kingdom Takes Flight” was unveiled at Animal Kingdom back in 2014. The idea was to have this “pandemonium of parrots” do a fly-over of Discovery Island, which as you can imagine takes an intense amount of preparation.
Trainers and handlers who already worked closely with the birds worked tirelessly with the macaws teaching them to circle above the park and then return to trainers when their flight was over.
In order to pull-of this incredible feat, tall mechanical lifts were stationed around the park. The trainers would go up in baskets with treats in hand at areas where the birds were expected to land. The trainers used the treats as positive reinforcement to get the birds used to flying in a circular route around the park. The birds are essential going from lift to lift picking up treats in a circular formation!
To capture the amazing images of Disney’s colorful group of parrots, it was essential for the photographers to get into the baskets during the training sessions to quickly snap away and capture those crucial moments when the birds come in for their goodies.
The fact that photographers like Kent had to be harnessed seven stories up in the air and slightly out of sight so as not to scare the birds shows the amazing lengths that Disney photographers will go to when it comes to capturing those breathtaking shots.
Once the Animal Kingdom re-opens, we hope that you’re able to see these beautiful birds take flight. Most macaws have wings spans of up to 60 inches. The flock also includes a variety of differently colored birds including hyacinth, green-winged, blue and gold, scarlet and blue-throated! During the day, avian experts are also on hand to share conservation stories about the macaws which are endangered in Central and South America.
Happy Earth Day! Readers are encouraged to keep following along with MickeyBlog for more incredible animal encounters!
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